Resources and Tools for Elementary Math Specialists and Teachers

Nim-7

This discussion is part of a collection:Opportunities for Growth in Practice Standard 8

This is a good way to begin a series of Nim explorations. After a few times with chips I like children to begin thinking more strategically, so we use paper and pencil, each player with a different color, and starting with 21, take turns subtracting 1, 2, or 3 until the winner gets the last chip. The colors allow students to begin analyzing moves, working backwards. Once they begin to "get" the strategy, I encourage them to play with someone at home, theoretically giving them an advantage. Then we change the rules by changing the starting number, or the subtractable numbers, so they work towards a more general strategy.

What other games do y'all play to develop strategic thinking?

Replies

NCTM's Pick-a-Path is available for download on iOS and Android devices. This game requires students to pick the correct path from the start to the end (target number). Along the path students need to decide which path to choose next. This resource is searchable on this website and includes an instructors guide!

Mathlanding hosts the resource named above. I remember enjoying the game called Capture on this web page. Played on a square grid of dots, the players draw segments and try to complete (capture) more squares than the opponent. Also, ML has many good strategy games from the NRICH site.

btw, When you're the kid who doesn't get the NIM strategy, it's not fun. :-(